MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

2021 Astronomy Grants

The closing date for the 2021 Astronomy Grants Round is 4th March 2021. Submissions are accepted from now. The Astronomy Guidelines for Applicants have been revised and can be found via the links below (the PDF with the full guidance is available under the ‘who can apply’ section on both pages):

Applicants should ensure they have read the guidelines in detail and contact the office with any queries ahead of submission.

Key points or revisions from the 2020 guidelines have been briefly summarised below for information:

  • Page Limits – The page limit per project has been simplified and is no longer based on a requested FTE calculation.
  • Applicant/Project FTE – There has been a change to the upper limit for requested applicant FTE (25%, not including PI management time). The guidance for total FTE requests per project has also been updated and must be strictly adhered to.
  • Outreach Projects – Clarification on the page limit for outreach projects/outreach funding.
  • Pathways to Impact – UKRI removed the requirement to submit a pathways to impact plan in March 2020; however applicants should still consider impact as part of their case for support (see guidelines for further information).
  • Publications Table – Updates to the information required in the publications table.

New groups submitting their first consolidated grant proposal or those considering a consortium proposal are advised to inform the office ahead of submitting to the closing date. If you have any queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2020 Space Census

MIST members are invited to submit to the 2020 Space Census!

The 2020 Space Census is the first national survey of the UK space workforce. It is a 5-10 minute anonymous online demographic survey of individuals for anyone working in the UK space sector in any capacity. The results will be used to improve what it’s like to work in the sector, to tackle discrimination, and to make the sector more attractive to new recruits.

More information about the Census, along with answers to commonly asked questions, can be found here.

The UK Space Agency’s press release about the Census can be found here.

STFC Policy Internship Scheme now open

This year has proved the critical importance of science having a voice within Parliament. But how does scientific evidence come to the attention of policy makers? If you are a STFC-funded PhD student, you can experience this first-hand through our Policy Internship Scheme, which has just opened for applications for 2020/21. During these three-month placements, students are hosted either at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) or the Government Office for Science (GO Science).

POST is an independent office of the Houses of Parliament which provides impartial evidence reviews on topical scientific issues to MPs and Peers. Interns at POST will research, draft, edit and publish a briefing paper summarising the evidence base on an important or emerging scientific issue. GO Science works to ensure that Government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking. Placements at GO Science are likely to involve undertaking research, drafting briefing notes and background papers, and organising workshops and meetings.

The scheme offers a unique opportunity to experience the heart of UK policy making and to explore careers within the science-policy interface. The placements are fully funded and successful applicants will receive a three-month extension to their final PhD deadline.

For full information and to see case studies of previous interns, please see our website. The closing date is 10 September 2020 at 16.00.

Applied Sciences special issue: Dynamical processes in space plasmas

 

Applied Sciences is to publish a special issue on the topic of dynamical processes in space plasmas which is being guest edited by Georgious Nicolaou. Submissions are welcome until 31 March 2021, and submission instructions for authors can be found on the journal website. For general questions, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MIST elections in 2020

The election for the next MIST councillors opens today, and will run until 23:59 on 31 July 2020. The candidates are Michaela Mooney, Matt Owens, and Jasmine Kaur Sandhu. 

If you are subscribed to this mailing list you should receive a bespoke link which will let you vote on the MIST website, which will be sent by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you don’t receive this link, please check your junk folder! The candidates’ platforms are on the voting platform, and also reproduced below for your convenience. 

Michaela Mooney

I’m a final year PhD student at MSSL standing for MIST Council as a student representative. During my PhD, I’ve been actively engaged in the department as a Student Rep in the Staff Student Consultation Committee and in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. I’m an active member of the MIST research community through proposals for RAS Discussion meetings and NAM sessions on geomagnetic activity. 

My main goals as a MIST Council representative would be to:

  • lobby funding bodies to reduce the impact of the pandemic on PhD students.
  • facilitate the organisation of virtual conferences and careers days to ensure that students continue to have opportunities to present research and access to careers information.
  • support good practises in equality, diversity and inclusion within the MIST community.

My key priority would be to limit the impact of the pandemic on students and ensure equality of opportunities.

Matt Owens

Now, more than ever, it’s vital our community address its diversity problems. If anyone is standing for MIST council from an underrepresented demographic, I’d encourage you to vote for them; MIST needs their experience and insight. If not, I’ll seek to ensure MIST council continues to promote equality of opportunity and diversity in science.

MIST’s primary role is to represent our solar-terrestrial science within the wider discipline. I’m predominantly a heliospheric scientist, but keep a toe in the solar physics community. E.g., I’ve served in editorial capacities for both JGR and Solar Physics, and have a good deal of experience with both NERC and STFC funding. As such, I’d hope to see MIST working closely with UKSP, as we have a lot of common interest. I am also keen that the MIST community coordinate to make the most of the industrial and operational forecasting opportunities that are open to it. Finally, I’m a very recent convert to open science. I would seek to increase the prevalence of research code publication and use of community tools within our field, for reasons of both efficiency and reproducibility.

Jasmine Kaur Sandhu

I am a post-doctoral research associate at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL, with a research focus on inner magnetospheric physics. During my time as a Council member I have led a number of initiatives, primarily the MIST Student’s Corner, the MIST Nugget Series, and the MIST online seminar series. If elected, I will continue to focus on supporting early career researchers in ways that promote diversity of both science and the scientists within our community. This will include developing a set of up-to-date, comprehensive, and informative resources on funding opportunities available to early career researchers for travel funding and fellowships. This will be supported by a mentor-like scheme for assistance and guidance on applications.

Partially Ionised Plasmas in Astrophysics: PIPA2019

The Partially Ionised Plasmas in Astrophysics (PIPA2019) conference is to be held in Mallorca in June 3-7, 2019. The meeting will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between participants from all areas of astrophysics in which partially ionised plasmas play a capital role, from the Earth's ionosphere to partially ionised regions in galaxies, which also includes solar chromosphere, interstellar medium, stellar formation, protostellar discs, planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres, etc. For information about the conference, including the venue, accommodation, preliminary invited speakers and talks, click here. The deadline for registration, abstract submission and hotel reservations is 1 April 2019.

 

RAS discussion meeting on space weather monitoring at L1 and L5

A Royal Astronomical Society discussion meeting entitled Transitioning Research and Instrument Expertise in Heliophysics into Space Weather Monitoring Capabilities at L1 and L5 is to be held at Burlington House on 8 March, convened by Richard Harrison (STFC), Jackie Davies (STFC), and Jonny Rae (MSSL). This meeting specifically targets the exploitation of our research and instrumentation for space weather applications, in particular, associated with the ESA Lagrange mission and the associated NASA L1 mission. The RAS page for the meeting is here, and the programme is available here.

Read more: RAS discussion meeting on space weather monitoring at L1 and L5

NAM abstract submissions open for 2019

The online abstract submission system for the 2019 Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting is now open. The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 March and abstracts can be submitted through the NAM 2019 website.

NAM 2019 will be held at Lancaster University between 30 June–4 July. Further information and a full list of parallel sessions is available on the event website. Additional practical information will be added to the site prior to registration opening on Mon 25 February, and it is not necessary to register to submit an abstract.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The LOC and SOC look forward to welcoming you to Lancaster in the summer!

Read more: NAM abstract submissions open for 2019

2019 EISCAT Symposium, 46AM Optical Meeting, and Incoherent Scatter Radar School

Further to the initial announcement, more details are now available on the 2019 International EISCAT Symposium. It will be held alongside the 46th Annual European Meeting on Atmospheric Studies (46AM) at the University of Oulu, Finland, from 19–23 August 2019.

The joint meeting will be immediately preceded by the International EISCAT Incoherent Scatter Radar School, at Pikku Syote (150 km east of Oulu), from 12–17 August 2019.

Registration information for both meetings will be published in February, but in the meantime, please visit the EISCAT Symposium and 46AM webpage and the EISCAT Radar School webpage for more information.

RAS discussion meeting on geomagnetic storms and substorms

The Global Response of the Terrestrial Magnetosphere During Storms and Substorms is an upcoming RAS discussion meeting to be held on 08 February 2019 at the Royal Astronomical Society at Burlington House. This meeting will include an invited talk from Elena Kronberg (Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research).

If you are interested in attending, you can visit the page for the meeting on the RAS's websiteThe programme and list of abstracts are available here on the MIST website. 

The meeting is co-convened by Jasmine Sandhu (MSSL/UCL), Hayley Allison (BAS/Cambridge), Maria-Theresia Walach (Lancaster) and Clare Watt (Reading), and the the description of the meeting is as follows:

The magnetosphere is a highly variable environment, and the occurrence of storms and substorms result in the dramatic reconfiguration and redistribution of energy within the system. Understanding the conditions under which these events take place, the response of the magnetosphere, and the causes of the high variability observed is an area of active research.

This meeting aims to further our understanding of how internal and external factors combine to shape the global structure of the magnetosphere and the plasma stored therein during active times. We aim to integrate our collective knowledge of global changes in the magnetic field structure and of plasma behaviour across a wide range of energies, from cold plasmaspheric plasma through to the high energy populations in the plasma sheet, ring current, and outer radiation belt. In addition to bringing together observations from throughout the magnetosphere and ionosphere (e.g., Van Allen, Cluster, and the SuperDARN network), new modelling and simulation results will also provide insight into the response of the terrestrial magnetosphere to a wide range of geomagnetic activity.